Yesterday my daughter and I went shopping. That, by itself is not so impressive, especially this time of year when everyone is purchasing gifts for the holiday.
What was special about this trip is where we went to spend my money! We headed out to Leavenworth, which is a Bavarian themed town, 2 hours north of our home in Redmond, Washington. It is a special community located in the mountains and they know how to do Christmas right!
The drive took us over the mountain pass into the middle of nowhere, and then all of a sudden this town appears.
It was a clear day, but cold! 34F was the high, and a decent wind was blowing.
The views are spectacular!
The main street, which runs through the middle of the town, is in the Bavarian style and decked out in lights, garlands and holiday colors.
There are shops and plenty of restaurants.
We strolled along the street, stopping every so often to buy a gift or duck into a store to warm up!
We had lunch and lots of coffee on this chilly December day.
We marveled at the gorgeous decorations inside the stores
Finally, it was time to head home. We grabbed one more cup of coffee and climbed into the car for the 2 hour return trip, and this is where the gratitude part comes in!
An hour into the drive we were stopped on the road. We saw flashing lights about 100 yards ahead of us on the only two lane road out of town. No cars were traveling in either direction and we knew something bad had occurred. More cars came behind us as we waited for the accident to clear, but we didn’t move. An hour passed as we thought that we would be moving “any minute now”.
People around us began to leave their cars and walk over to the scene of the accident, and it was getting darker on this mountain road. I checked the map app on my phone and found that the only detour was to return to the town and head over two other mountain ranges to get back home. A detour that would take 3 hours and 20 minutes.
As a group passed our car, I rolled down the window and they told me it would be at least 4 more hours until the investigation was complete. There was a fatality.
A motorcyclist had lost his or her life that day. My daughter and I processed this differently. She was irritated that we did not leave earlier, assuming that we would have been through the area before the crash. I was not so sure.
As we turned around to begin the three hours detour she continued to be irritated at our misfortune. But I was grateful! What if we had left earlier and were in the accident? What if it was my daughter lying under that tarp?
We had just spent a marvelous day together and the worst that happened to us was that it took 5 hours to get home instead of 2.
But we were home, safe and sound. Eventually she came to the same conclusion and we both felt happy and safe at the end of this day, when another family had a horrible tragedy to process.
Our hearts go out to that family this holiday season.
Merry Christmas 🙂
Join the amazing Roda from Growing Self in her Gift of Gratitude series.